Like many businesses today, multi-practice law firm Capehart Scatchard is on the journey toward a paperless future. Almost a century and a half since its founding in 1876 — now with 161 staff, including 86 lawyers — the firm relies on technology to enable it to deliver excellent client service and a streamlined e-billing process is part of that.
Capehart offers a full suite of services to businesses, public entities, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and individuals out of its five offices in New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia. A large part of its work is in the workers’ compensation and commercial litigation spaces, where e-billing is preferred by insurance companies and loss adjustor clients, so much so that it is required to process high volumes of e-bills to the tune of approximately 2,500 each month.
When Capehart made the decision to move to Coyote Analytics’ Financial Management Solution in 2019, it also decided to move its e-billing to a new provider at the same time. Howard Vogel, Chief Financial Officer at Capehart, who oversees all of the firm’s finance, IT, and operations, had seen eBillingHub®, the automated e-billing solution from Thomson Reuters, in action before in a previous role with another firm.
An e-billing solution that integrates with Coyote Analytics
The firm wanted an e-billing solution that was cost effective, leading edge, and compatible with Coyote Analytics, so it chose eBillingHub. eBillingHub was not just compatible with Coyote Analytics, it was able to fully integrate with it thanks to the application programming interface structure of eBillingHub, so they effectively work together as one. Capehart decided to implement the two — eBillingHub and Coyote — concurrently.
One advantage of a fully embedded solution for Capehart was that there was no need for users to keep logging out of one system and into the other, making it very easy to use. Moreover, this deep integration allowed eBillingHub to access and process critical firm data to create e-bills quickly and precisely in line with clients’ specific billing rules and to track them through the system.
A reliable e-billing platform that can handle a large workload
Capehart’s main priority was to deploy a solution that could enable it to process large volumes of e-bills in a reliable and timely manner. Vogel is keenly aware this is a highly time-sensitive activity, where missed deadlines could trigger deductions or cause bills not to be accepted at all. The integrated nature of eBillingHub saves several steps in the process, creating efficiency gains and enhancing effectiveness. Vogel’s team can use the software to monitor e-bill status so they can identify problems early on.
“Sometimes, through no fault of the software, bills can be rejected, for instance if items are not complete. eBillingHub is a great tool for our collections group to see what the issues are so they can be resolved rapidly, and the bill re-submitted,” he says.
Typically, Capehart runs its pre-bills out of Coyote at the start of each month, and after being audited they are forwarded to the Billing Group for processing. The billing team makes the necessary edits and the e-bills are then transmitted to clients automatically via eBillingHub. It’s a big task for a relatively small team, especially given that they still have plenty of other work to do servicing the paper billing needs of the firm, but eBillingHub enables them to handle it.
Clearly, when bills are submitted faster and with fewer glitches, this has a positive effect on cash flow. One major client even pays within two days of receipt. If a bill is slow to be paid, Vogel and his team can rest assured that the delay has not been caused by a problem on their end, which empowers them to know what appropriate action to take.
No sooner had the new system been installed in early 2020 than the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the firm, like all businesses, went into lockdown. The timing of the eBillingHub/Coyote implementation meant that Capehart was well set up for remote working, incurring minimal disruption to its billing processes.
“It’s a tough call to say exactly how much time is being saved in today’s environment where the team is for the most part working from home, and as client payment dynamics are being altered by the pandemic,” says Vogel. “For me, the biggest success has been keeping going, getting the bills processed on time, and getting payments in. We haven’t suffered as greatly as some other law firms or industries have: we’re holding our own out there, and eBillingHub is part of that.”
E-billing technology that offers a solid ROI
Implementing two new major systems for the firm — Coyote and eBillingHub — at the same time was challenging. However, having started the process in January, Vogel says the firm was starting to feel comfortable with both by late February/early March. It made sense for any training for eBillingHub to be integrated with training for the Coyote system. However, extensive training on eBillingHub was not required, partly because the team was not new to e-billing and partly because eBillingHub is so easy to use. Vogel notes that his team “picked eBillingHub up pretty quickly.”
He has been impressed by the responsiveness of the eBillingHub Support team, should any issues arise. Excellent customer relationships mean that the firm’s billing supervisor knows exactly whom to contact at eBillingHub if a problem needs to be ironed out quickly, for example if a login has expired which could cause a bill to be delayed and potentially rejected.
Alongside all these benefits, Vogel had another motivation for making the switch to eBillingHub. He says, “As CFO, I have a responsibility to ensure the firm gets the most bang for its buck. The fact that eBillingHub was based on a revenue model made it a good deal, and that was part of my motivation for making the switch. It gives us a boost to the bottom line just on that basis alone, even without the productivity gains.”
As the firm grows, so too will its e-billing, and the firm is confident in its ability to handle even larger volumes of e-bills effortlessly.
One of the oldest law firms in New Jersey, which operates out of New York and Pennsylvania too, it has deep experience across a diverse range of sectors, including workers’ compensation, litigation, labor, education, banking and finance, trusts and estates, and healthcare law.
With a bank of some 2,500 e-bills to process each month, Capehart needed a fast, efficient, reliable e-billing solution that could minimize the risk of error and that could seamlessly integrate with its new accounting system from Coyote Analytics.
eBillingHub offered deep integration with Coyote’s system so that the two solutions effectively became “as one,” and the two could be implemented together simultaneously. It delivered best-in-class functionality in a cost-effective manner, and it has scope to grow with the business.
- Innovative API structure for seamless assimilation into third-party systems
- No need to keep logging in and out
- Easy-to-use functionality
- Excellent customer service and product support
- Rapid, reliable results